The new Millennial generation is here. They were born between 1983 and 2000. They are still under 30 but they are changing us and the world. I believe this is largely for the better, but we’ll see. They are open, honest, and high tech. They enjoy work but it has to involve others and it has to be fun. They enjoy focused, honest leaders in work or any endeavor and they don’t respond well to its absence. In America, some of them are just old enough to hold political office and other positions of leadership. By 2016 the numbers of Millennials to achieve voting age will have doubled over what they were in 2008 and by 2020 as the oldest among them reach the age of 40 they will likely be the dominant political force in America and in the world. In America, 2020 is likely the earliest time when we could have a Millennial in the office of the presidency. The post millennial generation (born after 2000) is still too young to characterize as they are only entering their early teens.
Millennials are starting to change the political and social landscape. The effect they have had on the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections in America has been well documented. As they increase in numbers in 2016 and double by 2020, their effect may become dominant.
Their effect on the social structure of the country, indeed the world, may dominate as well. This week as the Supreme Court in America starts to review the earliest cases regarding gay and lesbian marriage, it have been reported that Millennials favor these rights by over 4-1, with a reported 81 percent of Millennials favoring. We are being asked to live up to the ideals of the Constitution in this matter just as we had to as we rejected slavery and the subjugation of women. The Constitution of the United States and the Declaration of Independence are both marvelous documents and every generation causes us to move forward in a way we had not been previously smart enough to figure out on our own.
This is where we stand now. The Supreme Court may not catch up to the Millennials all at once, but it is clear from the questioning today and yesterday that the two cases brought before the Court will generate much interesting thought and reflection over the next several months. The Court does not always catch up to where the people are in a timely way, but in my view it is highly likely they will. The questions are ultimately about the meaning of love, marriage. respect and social justice. Answers must come.
The leaders on the Court, one should be reminded, are steeped in the law and trained in its practice. They are the last professionals among us with real respect for the language. Thus, the questions before the court cannot go unanswered. Whether the answers will be sufficient and complete is not a matter of real concern. The Court may not go as far as some would like as its initial responses may be cautious, but likely in the right direction. It the end, they will likely get it right, just not all at once.